Friday, November 14, 2008

A Mother's Love

I just returned home from a funeral of my husband's friend's four year old daughter. I wept and wept. The funeral was sad and the little girl so sweet. But, I wept most for the mother.

If you have kids, you know the love I wept for. If you don't have kids, you really truly cannot image how deeply you could love something.

A mother's love is impermeable. It is sweet with smells of baby powder, dirty diapers, purple dinosaur shampoos and tempera paint. It is sour with tastes of funky looking self-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, way too chocolately milk and kisses that are far too wet. It is loud with the sounds of laughter, tantrums, screams of fear in the night and 1,000 calls a day for mom throughout the house. It is blinded by images of eyes like yours, smiles with secret messages and wonder so deep you wish you could go along for the ride. It is touched by grabbing and grouping hands, little people hanging on your legs, hugs that last for days and high fives for amazing accomplishments.

It is like nothing else in the world. A mother's love is truly indescribable. It is something you must feel to truly understand and it is the greatest privilege I know--to feel that love, to be a mother and to share int he life of my children.

Each one of us plays a part in defining our family: we are a family of five. If you have three kids, your arms only feel half full with just one hug. If you have two kids, your lap is only half occupied with one child resting comfortably. Your children define your fullness--there is just enough for everyone. So when one leaves, I cannot image the void a mother must feel.

There she sat, just two feet away from her daughter who was tucked neatly in her pink casket, resting peacefully. Her arms, oh how they must have ached wanting to hold her, to pick her up one more time. My arms ached wanting to hold my children. I know she will go on, people do and they find a way to start again. Slowly life--although a different life now--will go on. But the mother's heart will never be the same.

The funeral was sweet and the photographs told the story of such a happy family--an involved father and a devoted mother. Two little girls who would laugh and play the days away. Now just one, there will be a sense of emptiness.

But, the family is surrounded by love. More than two dozen police cars in the parking lot. Three full rows of uniformed officers. This truly is a brotherhood like no other. We are part of a larger family, in which no one is forgotten and no one is left to stand alone. No matter my struggles with believing in God over the years, I have always believed in eternal life. For that, I am grateful. I know Katie will be back. I know Leslie will heal from this hurt, but I hope she always remembers she is a good mother and was blessed to experience the love of her children. That love truly is the greatest gift of all.


Kathleen said...

So perfectly stated...every word. I never want to spend a single day on this earth without my children in it. My heart aches for the family--I really can't even let my mind go there...I am glad you were there for support. Thanks for sharing this.

Anne said...

How tragically sad! How did the little girl pass away? I just can not even begin to wrap by brain around I want to go back up to where they are going to sleep for one last good night hug and kiss. I'm the one who is going to be asking for a second drink of water.